Macron’s veto against those who saved the Republic: 3 notes on the French elections

Saving the Republic meant polarizing around a democratic alternative

The victory of the New Popular Front in France contradicted polls and scenarios and undermined Macron’s plan. It was the left that, united around a strong program, polarized with the extreme right and saved the Republic. He did so by presenting an alternative in the antipodes of the governance for the rich that Macron promoted, with attacks on reforms, wages, labor rights or immigrants’ rights. Unsubmissive France and its leader have suffered, in recent years, an unprecedented media barrage and demonization. Mélenchon, a former minister in a PS government, is hated by the elites and presented as a red beelzebub. But Unsubmissive France is an example for the entire European left. He managed to change the relationship of forces after the presidency of Hollande, who went bankrupt in his liberal capitulation. It was always opposition to neoliberalism without the hesitations of third ways. He saved the left from political and electoral irrelevance. He knew how to reinvent a left-wing universalist discourse, without giving up any cause and without giving in to elitist temptation. In these elections, it promoted a unitary process that took the form of an alliance with PS, PC, Greens and smaller groups, which mobilized the vote of popular neighborhoods and young workers and received the explicit support of unions and grassroots organizations. In the name of an anti-fascist barrage, Mélenchon was also the first to announce that left-wing candidates would withdraw in favor of any others in the second round if they came third in single-member circles. This is how neofascism can be defeated.

After opening the way to the far right, Macron wants to veto the left

Given the victory of the New Popular Front, Macron should call on it to form a government. But since Sunday, what has been done are conspiracies to avoid recognizing that victory. The Macronist plans first involved trying to divide the New Popular Front, seeking to seduce the socialists and the greens to separate themselves from Unsubmissive France, towards an agreement with the president’s liberal camp, against which those parties ran. This alliance between a center skewed to the right to continue the same policy repudiated at the polls would be a betrayal and a certain suicide for the parties that supported the maneuver (remember that, in the past, the PS has already seen his presidential candidate reduced to 1.75%, in contrast to Mélénchon’s 22%).

Against the siren songs of the liberals, all Popular Front parties have maintained great unity in the affirmation that the program they will apply is the one submitted to elections. Macron is now trying a new coup. In a letter addressed to the French this Wednesday, the president rejects the verdict of the polls by imposing a de facto veto on the appointment of a prime minister by the most voted force. At the same time, it postpones the government appointment process by keeping its prime minister in power (Gabriel Attal, humiliated in the votes and who had already resigned) and demands a “republican†alliance. which would imply an agreement between Macronism and the right and the complicity of the extreme right in Parliament.

Macron had already achieved the feat of destroying the center-left and center-right. During his terms, the extreme right always grew. Macron almost handed power to Le Pen and Bardella. Now, not satisfied, and against the criteria with which he attributed, in 2022, the victory to his party when it was very far from the absolute majority (it had 174 deputies, far from the 289 necessary), he claims that “no one He didn’t win these elections, trying to forge an alliance between the right and economic power. The effect of this maneuver by Macron will be only one: destroying confidence in the possibility of democracy generating alternatives. If he succeeds, it will be yet another favor, after so many others, to despair and the extreme right.

The New Popular Front was never the “extreme leftâ€

The public debate in Europe and Portugal has tilted to the right so much that the most unsuspecting journalists and commentators today adopt completely biased categories. At SIC, more than one reporter referred to the Nova Frente Popular, these days, as being the “extreme left†. When Marques Mendes spoke, in Jornal da Noite, of the “great news†which was the defeat of the extreme right, whose victory would have been “very worrying†, Clara de Sousa retorted, as a pivot, “she finds it less worrying than the victory of the extreme left?†. In France and Portugal, there are those who said they would hesitate in choosing the anti-fascist candidate if he were from Unsubmissive France.

Only political ignorance or the lack of programmatic culture – or other manipulation – allow the New Popular Front and Insubmissive France to be designated as symmetrical to the extreme right. It has no historical meaning or rigor, it is the most superficial of topographies. The New Popular Front has a program to break with neoliberalism that envisages immediate measures such as increasing the minimum wage to 1600 euros, revoking Macron’s increase in retirement age, freezing prices , to just talk about the measures for the first few days that a new Government can take by decree. It is a strong program and it is the program that manages to stop the growth of the extreme right. It is Keynesian, social and ecological policy, in a time of neoliberal extremism.

I hope it works

The new alliance of the left in France takes its name from one of the most remarkable government experiences of the 20th century: the Popular Front of 1936, led by Léon Blum, which brought together socialists, communists and the radical party (a republican party, to the right of the other two). It was in this government, built as a response to the rise of fascism and under the impulse and pressure of an impressive strike movement, that wages were increased by around 12%, the right to vacation was enshrined for the first time paid (two weeks), if the working week went from 48 to 40 hours.

The New Popular Front was now created, in record time, with the same anti-fascist spirit. In order for this New Front to be able to do for France what so many people aspire to, it must govern, maintain its precious and fragile unity through solid principles, focus and humility in debate, it must win hegemony and manage to weaken the extreme right, it is necessary that, in the streets and in popular mobilization, this government finds support and pressure so as not to fail in the aspirations it created. I really hope for that.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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